News and Commentary

How much do private insurers pay for outpatient mental health services?

One third of people who received outpatient mental health services in the past year indicated that private insurance covered the cost. In contrast, nearly 44 percent of people who received inpatient care indicated that most of the costs were paid for by Medicaid and Medicare.

The findings, presented in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which is issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also looked at out-of-pocket costs for these services. Of adults who reported that all or part of their outpatient mental health services was paid for by themselves or a family member, 2.3 percent had out-of-pocket costs over $5,000 and 9.6 percent had out-of-pocket costs that exceeded $10,000.

Who pays for mental health services?

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The NSDUH Report: Source of Payment for Mental Health Treatment for Adults, July 2011


Drug management
By Joseph Burns
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By Dea Belazi